Slate’s Gemma Malley makes the argument that extending a human beings lifespan would result in inexorable boredom.
Do we really want to extend the human lifespan indefinitely? Would it really make us happy?
To which I believe the answer is no, and no.
What we forget when we focus on extending our lifespan as long as possible is that things make us happy because they are rare, finite, and therefore valuable and precious. Diamonds. Newborns. Laughter. Great first dates. Great third dates. Sunshine. (I live in London. Trust me, sunshine is very rare and very finite.) Make these things available to everyone all the time, and they would lose their glow, become mundane.
1. Nonsense. This may be true for some, who seem perpetually bored even in their twenties, but certainly not for all.
2. Other than the times when I am forced to sit through a meeting, I can’t remember the last time that I was bored. I gave a talk to a Happiness Club last week, and the central theme of my talk was to say yes to everything that life has to offer, regardless of how busy you already are.
“Be so busy that you wish you had more time for television.”
This is what I have done with my life. It occurs to me that my wife and I have not watched a single minute of television since last Thursday night.
More than a week ago.
Don’t get me wrong. We want to watch TV. We enjoy watching TV. There are even shows on the DVR that we would like to see. We just don’t have the time to sit down on the couch for an hour.
Boredom has become an impossible-to-imagine concept in my life, and I’m willing to bet on my continued ability to fill my life to the brim regardless of how long I live.
So I’m willing to risk the inherent perils of eternal life. Bring it on.